I asked the other Apocalypsies if they have writing talismans, too, and what do you know? They do. Check out these awesome talismans that keep our Apocalypsies encouraged and writing -- then let us know about your writing talismans in the comments!
I write in my dining room, and it's full of fairies, crystals, and colored glass. AURACLE mentions several different metaphysical elements, and while I was researching various topics, I fell in love with crystals. Oh, the pretty and the shiny! People have tapped into the energy of crystals for thousands of years and modern technology uses them still (you've heard of a quartz crystal watch?) I keep a bunch of crystals on my windowsill in the sun, around my desk, and I have chunks of quartz crystal and citrine I take with me on trips.
Talismans and good luck charms are a major element in SEND ME A SIGN and the longer I worked on the book, the more I found myself absorbing my main character’s superstitions. I catch myself collecting and ascribing mystical properties to things I own way too often. So, since I couldn’t choose a favorite or most important talisman, I’m going to tell you about my most recent.
After buying the necklace, Jen held onto it, waiting for the “perfect moment” to give it to me—and she DID choose perfectly, she gave it to me the day before I left for NYC and BEA. The day before my first two author appearances at the Apocalypsie BEA event and the Teen Author Carnival. It was the perfect good luck charm—I could fidget with it when I got nervous, and it was a simple reminder hanging around my neck all day: people believe in me and my book.
Even better – It matched my outfit!
I'm glad you sent the reminder email - I'm in the middle of driving across country (relocating) and totally forgot about your request! I'm attaching a photo of my talisman - it's my avocado green rotary phone from the 70s that a friend of mine gave me a few years ago. It's had a prominent home on my desk ever since - eventually I'd like to wire it to work as an iPhone receiver, but in the meantime I just love picking it up and absentmindedly fiddling with it when working through a plot hole or characterization problem. I'm also a sucker for anything 50s to 70s vintage/retro, and it is absolutely my favourite shade of green!
In the summer of 1998, I entered a contest for creative nonfiction named for and judged by the amazing Texan writer John Graves. To my surprise, I was announced as the winner that fall, and hastily sent a thank you letter to the judge himself.
This note is what eventually came back to me. I taped it to the inside of my computer desk, right next to my monitor, where I can see it – where I read it, again, every single writing day.
Even though the first paragraph is the one praising my writing, the second paragraph is what has kept me going as a writer for so many years. It reads:
I would say “Stick with it,” for you have a perceptive eye and a feel for words and meanings. But sticking with writing is not exactly a matter of choice - you either have to write or you don’t. Most of those who don’t have to eventually quit trying, but I suspect you’re one of those who will keep on.
It feels like I have a mentor looking on, when I show up each morning at the page. On those days when I feel the waves of self-doubt coming on, I turn my head slightly to the left, read what one great writer had to say to me thirteen years ago, and keep on writing.
Am I one of those who will keep on? I suspect Mr. Graves was right all along.
I have a few different good luck charms around my desk—a small action figure of Enid from Ghost World, a stuffed puppy nicknamed “Kyle,” a figurine of Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. Lately, though, I’ve been using my late grandfather’s pocket watch as a sort of talisman. When I get really stressed or can’t figure out a plot point, I use the watch as a sort of worry stone. Something about the weight of it and the words engraved inside—my grandmother telling him she loved him—is reassuring.
I love unicorns. Nay, I adore them. And one day, my friend, writing buddy, and soul sister Kait Nolan sent me a unicorn as a wonderful surprise gift. He is white and pink and sparkly, and he is wonderful for snuggling when one is feeling doubtful about one's writing. When naming him, I was inspired by Dory in Finding Nemo: His name is Squishy. And he shall be mine. And he shall be my Squishy (the unicorn!).